Roman Catholic Church

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Fatima Siblings Will Become Saints

Children who saw visions of Mary will be canonized, church says

(Newser) - The two young siblings who Catholics believe saw a vision of the Madonna six times in the Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917 will be made saints, the Vatican said Thursday, per Reuters . Francisco and Jacinta Marto, along with their cousin Lucia Dos Santos, said they received three messages or... More »

Pope: Married Men May Be Solution to 'Enormous Problem'

Francis considering letting already wed men become ordained as priests

(Newser) - The Roman Catholic Church has an "enormous problem," Pope Francis told German newspaper Die Zeit in an interview published Thursday: a dearth of clergy. To solve that issue, CNN reports, the pontiff is considering tapping into "viri probati"—"tested men," or married ones. What... More »

Pope Francis Makes It Easier to Forgive Abortion

All priests can now absolve the 'grave sin'

(Newser) - Pope Francis temporarily gave Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion during the Church's "Holy Year of Mercy," which ended Sunday. In a letter released Monday, however, the pope "extended" the right to priests, suggesting it would last at least until the end of his... More »

Mexican Priest Alive, but With 'Notable Signs of Torture'

Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz had been abducted 3 days earlier

(Newser) - Since September, four Roman Catholic priests in Mexico have been abducted—and only one has come back alive. That priest, the Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, was found "dumped, with notable signs of torture" three days after he disappeared from the state of Veracruz, a bishop tells the AP... More »

Mother Teresa Will Be a Saint

Pope Francis announces her canonization will be held on Sept. 4

(Newser) - It's official: Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, reports Reuters . Pope Francis, who signed off on the missionary's second miracle in December, announced the move at a meeting of cardinals on Tuesday. Teresa died in 1997 at... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Pope: Priests Can Forgive Women Who've Had Abortions

Francis grants absolution power during Holy Year for 'painful decision'

(Newser) - Abortion is one of the sins that mandates automatic excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church, but for the Holy Year of Mercy that begins Dec. 8, Pope Francis says priests can, at their discretion, absolve women for terminating pregnancies, Reuters reports. "Many … believe that they have no other... More »

Christian ISIS Captive Dies a Muslim— Now What?

Photojournalist James Foley apparently converted during captivity

(Newser) - Many Roman Catholics saw journalist James Foley—who was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded by ISIS —as a symbol of enduring faith under horrible circumstances. Then it came out that he had converted to Islam in captivity. Now what? "The answer is we can’t assess it," says... More »

Vatican Warming Toward Gay and Divorced Catholics

Synod urges Church to appreciate 'positive aspects of civil unions,' 'gifts' of gay Catholics

(Newser) - The Vatican, in the latest sign that this is not your daddy's Catholic Church , appears to be opening its arms to gay and divorced Catholics, urging its priests to make "courageous pastoral choices" that are inclusive to a bevy of family models outside the traditional one. The shift... More »

Miracle Credited to Pope Paul VI

He's set for beatification in October

(Newser) - No Pope Left Behind? Francis is rapidly shuffling his predecessors toward sainthood, yesterday attributing a miracle to Pope Paul VI in a move that puts him on the path to canonization—just after last month's canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII . Paul, who was elected in 1963... More »

2 Living Popes Canonize 2 Predecessors

John Paul II and John XXIII canonized in historic ceremony at Vatican

(Newser) - It's a four-pope day at the Vatican, as two living popes gathered for the first time to canonize two of their predecessors: Pope Francis presided today over what the AP notes is really a pretty brief ceremony that confirmed the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII. Appearing... More »

Vatican Gets First Overhaul in 25 Years

Move brings lay experts into the world of the Vatican's finances

(Newser) - Pope Francis today announced the first major shake-up in 25 years to what the AP terms the Vatican's "outdated and inefficient bureaucracy," in a move designed to bring outside experts into the murky world of Vatican finances. Reuters reports that Francis used a Motu Proprio—a document... More »

Bishop in Trouble for $42M House

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst dubbed 'Luxury Bishop'

(Newser) - A German bishop has been called to the principal's office after his exorbitant spending. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst—or the "Luxury Bishop" as the BBC calls him—is under fire for spending $42 million on his house and then lying about it. Some have called for him to resign.... More »

Pope: Church Should Accept Gays 'With Respect'

Says Vatican has been 'small-minded,' can't be 'obsessed'

(Newser) - More unexpected comments about homosexuality from Pope Francis: In a new interview with a Jesuit journal, he says the church cannot "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, CNN reports. He's gotten letters from gays and lesbians who felt "socially wounded" by the church, "... More »

Follow Pope on Twitter, Get Time Off Purgatory Stay

Vatican offers 'indulgences' for social media use during Catholic World Youth Day

(Newser) - If you're a Catholic due to spend some time in purgatory before heading on up to heaven, we have good news for you: You can shorten the length of time you have to spend there just by following Pope Francis on Twitter , the Guardian reports. A papal court has... More »

So, What Was Pope John Paul II's 2nd Miracle?

Floribeth Mora says he healed her brain aneurysm

(Newser) - As promised, more details have been released on the second miracle that got Pope John Paul II cleared for sainthood . Floribeth Mora, a 50-year-old Costa Rican woman, told her story publicly for the first time today, tears in her eyes. She developed a brain aneurysm in 2011 and had no... More »

Pope Francis Hangs Out With Pilgrims, Gives 1st Angelus

Makes surprise appearance at Vatican side gate

(Newser) - Those looking for pomp and circumstance from Pope Francis' first Sunday as pontiff got instead an eyeful of his humble, man-of-the-people charm offensive. Ahead of his first Angelus blessing, Francis slipped out a side gate of the Vatican and mingled with startled pilgrims, even kissing babies and asking one, "... More »

Black Smoke: No Pope on Rounds 2, 3

Still no decision as LA diocese settles sex abuse suit for $10M

(Newser) - Black smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel's vaunted chimney again this morning, signalling that the second and third rounds of voting from the 115 cardinals gathered inside had failed to yield a pope. Two more rounds await the cardinals this afternoon, reports the AP , and voting will resume after... More »

Inside the Conclave: Oaths, Bug-Sweeping, Latin

Catholic cardinals to vote on new pope tomorrow

(Newser) - As the Catholic Church's cardinals prepare to begin voting on a new pope tomorrow , a rundown of how the secretive papal conclave will take shape:
  • Bug-sweepers will ensure the Sistine Chapel is secure, so no details can be leaked, the AFP reports. If a cardinal were to betray the
... More »

Cardinals Get Ready to Send Smoke Signals

Voting for next pope begins Tuesday

(Newser) - Catholics should have a new pope next week. Church cardinals who already are gathered at the Vatican decided today to begin voting on Tuesday, reports CNN . As per tradition, they will vote in the Sistine Chapel and send up black smoke after a failed ballot (a candidate needs two-thirds of... More »

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